NCAA FB

Coach helps get players' registration

Joe Taylor
Joe Taylor believes some things are more important than football — like voting.
Share This Story

   
 

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP)

Florida A&M coach Joe Taylor believes there are things that are more important than football. Voting is one of them.

And he's ensuring his players at the historical black university are prepared to participate in the political process.

''I've always looked at coaching as a ministry,'' said Taylor, who grew up in Washington D.C., during the height of the civil rights movement. ''It's an opportunity to enhance and even in a lot of cases, save lives.''

Taylor took part of a practice day to work with members of the Rattler football team to ensure they are registered to vote. Florida is among several states where newly passed laws appear to have toughened identification requirements for voters like college students.

''The good Lord didn't put them here just to be uniform racks,'' he said. ''You just want to make things available.''

And there are parallels with sport and life.

''Life is about options,'' the veteran coach said. ''Put someone in a position to have options.''

''As young black men, it's very important that we get out and vote,'' said senior linebacker Brandon Hepburn from Pomona, N.Y. ''We want our voices to be heard.''

CFB ON FOX IN 2012-13

Get the latest FOX College football news, analysis and videos right here.

Hepburn was among the third of the Rattler squad previously registered. Now every player on the Rattler squad old enough to cast a ballot is registered.

Teammate Eddie Rocker, a senior running back from Ocala, plans to vote for the first time in November. On Election Day, he'll be among the team's senior leaders who help shepherd teammates to the polls.

''I'll take the defense as an entire unit,'' Hepburn said. ''I'll make sure my brothers will vote.''

It is unclear how many other schools are doing anything similar to FAMU. NCAA spokeswoman Stacey Osburn said the NCAA doesn't have records on which institutions help student-athletes register to vote.

Florida State, located less than a mile from the FAMU campus, isn't proactive in encouraging or emphasizing voting among its student athletes, spokesman Rob Wilson said.

According to figures from compiled from 2008 by the Fair Elections Legal Network, 87 percent of college students between ages 18 and 24 that were registered actually voted.

With both political conventions nearly over and Election Day less than two months away, at least one other of FAMU's Mid-East Athletic Conference rivals is also registering its athletes to vote.

WHO SETS THE CURVE?

Check out the FOXiest fans from schools across the country and tweet us your photo.

Morgan State coach Donald Hill-Eley, who previously played for and later coached with Taylor, is doing something very similar with his players on Sept. 13.

''They can be Republican or Democrat, but they need to take advantage of the opportunity and not just sit back and complain about what's happening in the world,'' Hill-Eley said. ''I don't try to influence them, but don't sit back and talk about the world, find your part in it.''

Like FAMU, only a small majority of the players at Morgan State, located in Baltimore, were previously registered to vote. That's changed.

''We'll be represented,'' Hill-Eley promised.

Tagged: Florida, Donald Hill, Brandon Hepburn

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by

College Football Pick'em on FOX


NCAA FB Videos

Sumlin annoyed by media's Manziel questions Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Kevin Sumlin responds to questions about life after Johnny Football by toying wi...

AJ Pasquale's journey back to UCLA Posted: Jun 17, 2014
UCLA football ops intern AJ Pasquale describes his own personal journey after th...

Winston issued adult civil citation Posted: Apr 30, 2014
Get the latest news surrounding Jameis Winston's recent shoplifting fiasco.

Get Inside the Locker Room with Scout.com

More Than Sports on MSN

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Nike Florida Gators Gridiron 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - Royal Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Florida_Gators/browse/featuredproduct/759777/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_759000/ff_759777_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Florida Gators Gridiron 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - Royal Blue
    Nike Michigan State Spartans Football 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Michigan_State_Spartans/browse/featuredproduct/760171/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_760000/ff_760171_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Michigan State Spartans Football 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - White
    Nike USC Trojans Fight On My School T-Shirt - Cardinal http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_USC_Trojans/browse/featuredproduct/761373/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_761000/ff_761373_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike USC Trojans Fight On My School T-Shirt - Cardinal
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Crimson http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/829709/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_829000/ff_829709_xl.jpg&w=100 64.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Crimso..
    Nike LSU Tigers Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Purple http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_LSU_Tigers/browse/featuredproduct/829740/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_829000/ff_829740_xl.jpg&w=100 49.99 Nike LSU Tigers Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Purple
    Nike Oklahoma Sooners Legacy 91 Dri-FIT Adjustable Coaches Cap - Crimson http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_Sooners/browse/featuredproduct/830935/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_830000/ff_830935_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 Nike Oklahoma Sooners Legacy 91 Dri-FIT Adjustable Coaches Cap - Crimson
    adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish Hot Sideline Jacket - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Notre_Dame_Fighting_Irish/browse/featuredproduct/861243/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_861000/ff_861243_xl.jpg&w=100 69.95 adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish Hot Sideline Jacket - Navy Blue
    adidas Nebraska Cornhuskers Sideline Hot Quarter Zip Jacket - Scarlet http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Nebraska_Cornhuskers/browse/featuredproduct/861247/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_861000/ff_861247_xl.jpg&w=100 69.95 adidas Nebraska Cornhuskers Sideline Hot Quarter Zip Jacket - Scarlet
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Players Locker Room Snapback Hat - Charcoal/Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/1087345/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1087000/ff_1087345_xl.jpg&w=100 29.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Players Locker Room Snapba..
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Ash http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/1093431/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1093000/ff_1093431_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Ash